ApplicationNo. 06/240971 filed on 03/05/1981
US Classes:606/138, Means for removing suture, clip, staple or ligature30/124With material-holder or disposal
ExaminersPrimary: Thaler, Michael H.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassesA61B 17/32 (20060101)
A61B 17/04 (20060101)
DescriptionBACKGROUND AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a suture cutting and removing instrument and more particularly to a unitary and disposable instrument for both cutting and removing sutures.
The most frequently used method and apparatus for removing sutures comprises first taking a pair of scissors and forcing one of the cutter blades under the exposed suture portion and then cutting same. After this, the suture is pulled out bygripping same with forceps. Obviously, in this procedure two instruments are required. These instruments must be sterile since removal of sutures can leave access where bacteria or the like could enter the patient. Thus said method involves twoinstruments and sterilizing of same together with the excess handling required for two instruments. It must also be remembered that many patients have great difficulty in even having sutures removed. Consequently any simplification of such procedure isdesirable.
In view of the foregoing it is an object of this invention to greatly simplify the method and apparatus employed in removing sutures.
It is another object of this invention to provide a unitary instrument for both cutting and removing sutures.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a combination suture cutting and removing instrument which is disposable thereby eliminating repeated sterilization problems.
It is yet another object to provide a unitary combination suture cutter and remover capable of substantial time saving in such operation.
Additional objects and advantages will become more apparent when taken in conjunction with the following detailed description and drawings showing by way of example one preferred form of this invention.
IN THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a side view illustrating the combination device with the cutting blade removed,
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 with the cutting blade in position,
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 with the snap in retainer installed to retain the cutting blade in position,
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the snap in retainer,
FIG. 5 is a side view of the snap in retainer,
FIG. 6 is a top view of the device of FIG. 1 illustrating the "V" notch in the end of the head portion for engaging the suture knot for suture removal after cutting,
FIG. 7 illustrates the use of the combination suture cutter and remover as used in the cutting operation, and
FIG. 8 illustrates the manner in which the device is used to remove sutures where the "V" notch is positioned around the suture and under the suture knot for removal of the suture.
As best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 6, the device of this invention comprises a handle portion 12 with a head portion 14 extending from one end thereof. The handle is elongate and has vertical sides 16 and 18 connected by a top 20 and a bottom22. A rounded beading 24 extends around the handle and merges up into the head portion 14. The handle portion 12 is provided with parallel finger gripping elements 26 near the head portion and other gripping members 28 rearwardly and transverse withrespect to gripping elements 26.
Head portion 14 extends forwardly from the handle portion and comprises side walls 30 and 32 connected by top and bottom walls 36 and 34. More particularly, the head bottom 34 extends forwardly and gently curves upwardly to its termination whilethe head top 36 curves forwardly and downwardly and finally meeting the bottom 34 to transversely form the flat head end 40. This head end is provided with a "V" notch 42 for purposes to be described later.
The head portion 14 is also provided with a finger guard 44 which projects outwardly and slightly forward to prevent the user's finger from slipping forward into the blade area.
As best illustrated in FIG. 6, side wall 30 of the head portion is generally planar so as to be able to fully accommodate the cutter to be positioned thereon. Referring to FIG. 2, the cutter 48 is positioned on side wall 30. More specifically,the cutter 48 comprises a curved blade portion 50 with a somewhat rectangular holder portion 52 extending rearwardly therefrom. The holder portion 52 is provided with an elongate opening 54 of such size as to clear retainer pin openings 60 and 62 in thehead portion 14.
Referring to FIG. 3, the cutter 48 is shown installed on the head portion 14 by means of the snap in retainer 70. As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the snap in retainer 70 comprises a flat elongated plate 72 having locking pins 74 and 76projecting outwardly from the bottom face 78. After the cutter 48 is positioned on the head portion 14 as illustrated in FIG. 2, the snap in retainer 70 is snapped into position with locking pin 74 fitting in pin opening 60 and locking pin 76 fitting inopening 62. To further insure that the cutter 48 fits firmly on head side wall 30, the rear wall 79 of the cutter holder 52 is shaped to conform to the shape of the wall 80 of the head portion 14 (see FIGS. 1 and 6). Additionally the bottomconfiguration 81 of the cutter holder 52 and blade 50 closely conforms to that of the beading 20 to provide a better fit and support.
The manner of using the combination suture cutter and remover of this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. Referring first to FIG. 7, the head end 40 is slid under a suture 90 until the cutter blade 50 engages the suture and cuts same. Normally, due to the curvature of the cutter head very little motion is required of the operator.
Referring to FIG. 8, after the suture 90 has been cut, the "V" notch 42 of the head end 40 is positioned below the suture knot 92 in engagement with suture 90 so that upward movement of the head end 40 will result in engagement with the knot 92and withdrawal of the suture from the patient. Here again the curved shape of the head bottom will assist in removal.
As far as the use of materials for the device of this invention easily molded plastics are quite desirable while the cutter should be made from metal which may be given a rather sharp edge so that very little force is necessary in cutting thesutures. It must also be remembered that all materials must be able to withstand various sterilization procedures as required.